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Longitudinal trajectories of illness perceptions among adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Fortenberry KT, Berg CA, King PS, Stump T, Butler JM, Pham PK, Wiebe DJ. Longitudinal trajectories of illness perceptions among adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2014 Aug 1; 39(7):687-96.

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OBJECTIVES: To examine development in illness perceptions of type 1 diabetes across adolescence and relationships with intelligence, diabetes responsibility, and diabetes outcomes. METHODS: Illness perceptions were measured via the Illness Perceptions Questionnaire at 3 times, every 6 months in 213 adolescents (M age = 13.00; SD = 1.54) with type 1 diabetes. Intelligence and adolescents' perceived responsibility for diabetes were examined, and adolescents' report of adherence and quality of life (QOL), and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) from medical records addressed diabetes-related outcomes. RESULTS: Linear growth models showed significant increases in perceptions of diabetes coherence, chronicity, consequences, personal and treatment control, and decreases in diabetes cyclicality and parental control across time. More favorable illness perceptions were generally associated with adolescent intelligence at baseline, more adolescent responsibility for management, better adherence and QOL, and lower HbA1c at each time point. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that adolescents develop complex illness perceptions, which are associated with better diabetes management.

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